2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid – Indiana, PA

  • Overview

    A dark grey 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is facing left.

    It wasn't that long ago that the first clean-energy vehicles started hitting the road. Everyone knows and loves the Toyota Prius, the car that proved you could have style, comfort, and performance while saving energy. However, the Prius is a compact car that just is too compact for some people. Consumers who want or need a bigger vehicle began clamoring for an SUV that offers all the benefits of this vehicle type with the efficiency and environmental benefits of a hybrid. And luckily, the folks at Toyota answered the call, with the introduction of the Highlander Hybrid about a decade ago. They continue to answer this call with their continued production, most recently releasing the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

    The Highlander Hybrid is a vehicle that checks all the boxes for drivers in need of a midsize SUV that can accommodate up to eight passengers in its three rows of seats. And even further than performance, today's 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is boldly driving into the future of luxury alternative energy vehicles. This SUV offers the fuel efficiency of a hybrid, with the space for many passengers, plenty of cargo space, and an abundance of luxury features - an unbelievable mix of everything consumers asked for.


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  • Performance

    A man is getting into a burgundy 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid on a city street near Indiana, PA.

    There is no denying the importance of performance when it comes to any vehicle, especially an SUV. But with a hybrid SUV, the ante is raised because performance means more than the horsepower and torque, but also puts great emphasis on the fuel economy. Good thing the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers it all. Let's get into it.

    Powertrain and Battery

    As the proud parent of the first commercially successful hybrid vehicle, Toyota has engineered the 2020 Highlander Hybrid to provide drivers with the best of both worlds. The gas engine is a 2.5-liter L4HV Double Overhead Cam 24-valve D-4S Injection Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder Engine with Dual VVT-i, which stands for variable valve timing with intelligence. This makes sure that when the Highlander is operating on the gas engine, it will provide as much efficiency as possible.

    This engine produces 186 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. This power is extremely impressive. Many people think that when you choose a hybrid model, you are giving up on the engine performance, but the Highlander Hybrid proves them wrong. The hybrid capabilities are an added bonus to this high-performing vehicle.

    Transmission and Overall Ride

    Toyota uses an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) on the Highlander Hybrid. Rather than having specific gear, the ECVT continually adjusts the engine speed to provide added efficiency. This may take some getting used to, but it will give you a more efficient and smoother ride overall.

    Like many believe about horsepower and torque, you might think that an SUV would have to sacrifice towing power to achieve the energy efficiency ratings of a hybrid. However, the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, quite impressive for a midsize SUV. The Highlander's suspension system undoubtedly contributes to this, with the vehicle featuring a multi-link rear suspension with a stabilizer bar, and independent MacPherson strut front suspension with a stabilizer bar. There are also 18-inch wheels with p235/65R18M all-season steel-belted radial tires combine with this strong suspension to give the Highlander Hybrid a smooth and robust ride.

    The Best Fuel Economy Around

    The 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with front-wheel drive has been estimated to provide fuel economy of 36 miles per gallon in city driving, 35 miles per gallon in highway driving, and 36 miles per gallon combined. This is slightly better than the all-wheel drive version, which provides 35 miles per gallon in the city, 35 miles per gallon on the highway, and a combined 35 miles per gallon. Nevertheless, it is clear that both drivetrains provide the kind of outstanding fuel economy you would expect from a hybrid, just in a bigger model

  • Trims

    A woman is walking past a red 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid outside a store on a city street.

    There are many options available when it comes to the Highlander Hybrid. The best way to get a general understanding of what you can get on this fantastic vehicle is to look at the available trims. This hybrid SUV can be purchased in one of four available trims, making the opportunities seem endless. Let's take a look at each of these trims.

    The Highlander by Trim

    The LE starts with an MSRP of $38,200. This trim comes standard with LED fog lights, height-adjustable power liftgate with jam protection, an 8-inch color touchscreen infotainment system, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. While many other manufacturers reserve these features for higher trim levels or only offer them as options, Toyota makes these features standard on its entry-level Highlander Hybrid trim.

    The XLE trim adds a power tilt/slide moonroof, Qi-compatible wireless charging, and SofTex-trimmed front and second-row seats with heated front-row seats for an MSRP of $41,000. The next trim, the Limited, has an MSRP of $45,050. This adds a hands-free power liftgate, leather-trimmed seats, and a 1200 Watt JBL 11-speakers sound system with Clari-Fi, so your Highlander Hybrid provides you and your passengers with concert hall quality music.

    And lastly, if you are in the market for some premium tech, then the top-of-the-line Platinum trim may be your best choice. This adds a panoramic tilt/slide moonroof with sunshade, Bird's Eye View camera, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, for an MSRP of $48,250. It should be noted that all Highlander Hybrid trims seat up to eight passengers, except for the Platinum trim that seats seven passengers.

  • Interior

    The cream interior of a 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is shown from the side.

    No matter what kind of performance you get or fun tricks you can do with a vehicle, you will always want to be comfortable and entertained while you drive. Just like all of the other details, Toyota has put tons of attention toward making the interior of the Highlander satisfying to drivers. Let's take a peek inside.

    Your Choice: Cloth or Leather Fabrics

    How does the interior of the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid look? In one word: luxurious. The interior material depends on the trim level you choose, but whichever you choose, you and your passengers will be so comfortable, they won't want you to stop driving. The LE features cloth seats, while the XLE adds SofTex-trimmed front and second-row seats. If leather is your thing, then you can choose either the Limited or the Platinum.

    Ample Space Inside

    There is plenty of room, with front-row passengers enjoying 41.2 inches of headroom, 42 inches of legroom, 59 inches of shoulder room, and 57.2 inches of hip room. Second-row passengers will also be comfortable with 39.4 inches of headroom, 41 inches of legroom, 58.7 inches of shoulder room, and 57 inches of hip room. Third-row passengers won't feel left out either, as they will have 36.1 inches of headroom, 27.7 inches of legroom, 55 inches of shoulder room, and 27.7 inches of legroom. With that much room, I doubt anyone will be asking, "Are we there yet?" during your next road trip - they will likely be napping because they are so comfortable.

    And if you need room for luggage or other cargo, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid will provide you with plenty of space. The trunk alone has 16 cu.ft. of available cargo space. When you put the third row down, this turns into 48.4 cu.ft. And even better, with the second and third rows down, there is a total of 84.3 cu.ft. of cargo space. Why is this important? Because it means you do not have to leave anything behind when you are going on vacation or to the beach for the day. The Highlander Hybrid gives you enough room for anything and everything you need to take with you - and that is important.

    A Loaded Infotainment System

    Adding to this sense of luxury is the Audio Plus system on all models of the Highlander Hybrid. Audio Plus integrates all of the Highlander Hybrid's infotainment systems into one user-friendly device on an 8-inch color touchscreen. This includes an HD radio, advanced voice recognition, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, and music streaming, a USB media port, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa compatibility, a three-month subscription to SiriusXM All Access, Toyota Safety Connect, Service Connect, and Remote Connect, and a 2 GB three-month trial of Wi-Fi Connect. The Limited trim adds even more luxury by offering the premium JBL sound system. And the Platinum goes one step further by increasing the screen size to 12.3 inches. No matter what trim you pick, though, you will be pleased with the luxury technology that is provided.

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